Things Aren’t Any Better in the Great White North

Well, this is definitely not good.

Thanks to Greatly Saddened, one of our more prolific commentators, it has come to our attention that there is a scandal brewing in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada.

You can read it for yourself here:

www.torontosun.com/news/local-news/mandel-greek-community-of-toronto-lawsuit-claims-unholy-pilfering-by-greek-orthodox-church.

It’s tawdry to the extreme and it plays to the worst stereotype of Greeks. When I was growing up, if something were this chintzy we’d call it “gyphtiko“, meaning something only Gypsies would do. It denoted the lowest-class type of behavior and no matter how poor we were, we tried to do everything we could to avoid any such connotation.

That being said, this scandal is horrible. More so in my opinion than what is happening at the St Nicholas Shrine, seeing as the Metropolis of Canada inflicted needless harm on a desperate family (among other things).

Isn’t it curious that ever since the Phanar increased its iron grip on the Americas that we see more and more of these scandals? I’ll grant you that things weren’t always wonderful before Ligonier but there was nothing this scandalous (that I can remember).

Is there a silver lining to this debacle? Only this: things seem to be spiraling out of control. This may be the Lord’s judgment upon His house, for as St Peter wrote: “judgment begins in the House of the Lord”. Are we going to accept our chastisement and repent? I pray that that will be the case.

P.S. Some of you are experiencing difficulty in posting comments. Please bear with us as we try to fix the problem.

Comments

  1. Constaninos says:

    It’s time to shut down the Mueller investigation. As former federal prosecutor Joe DiGenova said, James Comey is the dirtiest cop in America. Comey must be indicted for obstruction of justice in the Clinton email scandal. Instead of being allowed to run for President, Hillary should have been indicted for gross negligence and obstruction of justice. There really is a deep state after all.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Agreed, however this comment has nothing to do with the kleptorthodoxy that’s going on in Toronto.

      • Constaninos says:

        These are allegations filed in a lawsuit. People are presumed innocent until they are convicted in a court of law. Thus far, it falls under the category of gossip.

  2. George Michalopulos says:

    It looks like several Greek Orthodox Canadians are filing a lawsuit against the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Canada:

    Stolen donations, tax fraud, abusive priests: Lawsuit alleges corruption among Greek Orthodox church leaders

  3. Martyr’s Guilt says:

    Hope you are getting paid for every click to the gmail ad you left us as a link to Greeks gone wild Toronto style. Please fix, hopefully I just bought you a kouluraki and cafethaki with my five clicks to the ad.

    To your gyptiko comment, let me add tsgani. Now how has this behavior come to GOA clergy? How but some blame to the majority of Greeks who own restaurants drive German cars, and dislocate their fingers going through their fifties, twenties, and Benjamin Franklins to lay a dollar in the church basket. What of this laity that believes a few hundred buck a year is cool for stewardship, yet have no problem with a $250 cable and internet monthly bill. My friend it’s a mess, and it get’s harder and harder to keep them in church.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Boy howdy have you got a lot of these guys pegged. You gotta wonder though: are they stingy for a reason?

      • Martyr's Guilt says:

        Show me where you lay your treasure and I will show you what you love. It’s said that Greeks love life, meaning this life. “KEFI! MY Friends! Live it up!” All right up their with spoiling their children. Now if church fits in with their life style, then great see you on Sundays, if not, it’s Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti! Gone at midnight to eat Magirista and see at The Festival this summer!

        Then a little light bulb goes off in their Horyati little heads as they witness friend, after friend kick the bucket. They may be next. So they buy a little spiritual insurance, or assurance, and attend church. Hence all the gray heads we see in church. Most are still Tsigooni(cheap), as it’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks, but they come to church, just in case the big festival in the sky, continues in the next life.

        When The Greek Orthodox Church get serious stewards, and at least most attempting to tithe, then and ONLY then, will we have clergy, that won’t be tempted to steal, cheat, nor be bought and sold by rich members. Hopefully that will also restore our reputations, and most importantly our Church!

        • Constaninos says:

          When the Greek Orthodox Church preaches Christ instead of Greek Orthodoxy, then and only then will you see real changes in the GOA. It’s got nothing to do with tithing.No one has a right to criticize how one handles their finances. Leave that up to an excellent financial advisor. Sam Walton, a devout Christian businessman, didn’t get rich from tithing. He got rich from excellent financial advice from his father-in- law. “Earn all you can, save all you can, invest all you can, and give all you can.” That’s the model we should aspire to.

  4. Greatly Saddened says:

    Below please find an article which was posted yesterday, by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

    Stolen donations, tax fraud, abusive priests: Lawsuit alleges corruption among Greek Orthodox church leaders

    Allegations in statement of claim are ‘wholly without merit,’ says Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto

    Lauren Pelley · Reporter · CBC NewsFirst published: December 14, 2017 at 7:35 PM ET Last updated: December 14, 2017 at 9:26 PM ET

    http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/toronto/greek-church-lawsuit-1.4448893

  5. Greatly Saddened says:

    Below please find an article from today’s, The National Herald. Be sure to view the video in the body of the article from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. How sad and how embarrassing!

    Greek Community of Toronto is Taking Metropolis to the Courts (CBC Video Report)

    https://www.thenationalherald.com/184829/torontos-greek-community-civil-war-greek-orthodox-church/

  6. Michael Bauman says:

    Greeks mostly irritate me. Most of the ones I have known major in the minor and miss what is important.

    • Now Michael…

    • Constaninos says:

      Dear Michael Bauman,
      It’s called Hellenologophobia. Prejudice and bigotry against Greeks.

      • Michael Bauman says:

        Or it could be that the Greeks I have met are just arrogant about their Greekness? Now that’s impossible isn’t it?

        Of course my parish also has wonderful Greek people who are simple Christian people, like the retired priest and several other refugees from the dystopian GREEK parish in our city dying because it is GREEK. Guess what, not that many folks in Wichita, KS who are that interested in GREEK.

        I also do not like most of what is called American Orthodoxy BTW or any other situation where the modifier is more important than the subject.

        But when I see Greek bishops including the EP acting the fool for politicians who hate everything the Church stands for, selling their real birthright for worldly garbage, I really get irritated.

        The Greeks party well. Now if they would stand and fight as their ancestors did, we might get somewhere. Real Hellenism is of transcendent value. This mongrel slug appreciates that.

        • Constaninos says:

          Dear Michael Bauman,
          If you talked about Jews that way, they would label you an anti- semite. If you talked about blacks that way, you would be called a racist. If you spoke about women like that, they would call you a misogynist. If you spoke about Muslims like that, you would be called islamophobic. You get the picture. Remember there are two kinds of people in the world- Greeks and those (like you) who wish they were Greek. Have a blessed Nativity of our Lord.

          • Come now, Constaninos. Lumping people into ridiculous categories and labeling them is what “they” do. And who are “they?” “They” are those who have sold themselves to secular modernity.

            I despise lumping people into categories, as it robs them of their personhood. Thus my “Now Michael…” comment, knowing him well enough to know that he didn’t really mean it as it sounded. But his subsequent post is not without substance. To paraphrase Saint Paul,

            For they are not all Greek who are of Greece, nor are they all Greek because they are the seed of Greeks.

            And yes, in this sense there are indeed only two kinds of people in this world. Would that all, in this sense, wish to be Greek!

            • Martyr’s Guilt says:

              🇬🇷❤️💰

            • Constaninos says:

              Hi Brian,
              You’re right.

            • “Greeks mostly irritate me”

              “[That’s] Prejudice and bigotry towards Greeks.”

              The most bigoted statement follows (often quoted around the GOA)

              “There are two types of people. Those who were Greek, and those who wish they were Greek”

              Hahahahahahahahahahaha – I love it!

              That is 100% baloney. No one wishes they were Greek anymore than one wishes to be a Scottish midget

              Nothing wrong with being Scottish

              Nothing wrong with being a midget

              Nothing wrong with being a Scottish midget

              Nothing wrong with being a studdering Scottish midet with a hair lip and epilepsy. All human life is equally valuable, right?

              But not everyone wishes they were Scottish – that’s presumptuous, racist and plain goofy

              This is why non-Greeks find Greek church mostly irritating

              Just imagine having to live in Munchinland as a non-Munchkin simply because they keep total control of the church as a retainer of their culture – while all the high pitched munchkin voices constantly squeak how awesome it is to be a munchkin, how its too bad you aren’t one and “Hey, would you like to buy a peppermint gyro for $8.00? The lollipop guild is raising money for repairs to the Yellow Brick Road (portions only located within the territory of Munchkinland – as well as subtle tribute to the Mayor of Munchkinland . . . )

              • Constaninos says:

                Billy Jack Sunday,
                May I give you a history lesson? During the first wave of immigration to the US, there was tremendous bigotry against Greeks, Italians and Irish. Fortunately or unfortunately, for the Italians and Irish, they had their Mafia and Irish gangs to protect them. The Greeks had their hard work and integrity along with assimilation to the American way of life. During this period of bigotry and persecution against Greeks, we weren’t even considered white. I’m proud to be Greek- the greatest race of people the world has ever known. Everyone owes a great deal of gratitude to the Greeks throughout history. You will not find a more noble people anywhere in world history. To be a Greek is to be a real man. Let’s not forget the Bible was written in Greek. Hellas will rise again.

                • Millton Peterman says:

                  Merry Christmas Peter Millman!

                  • Constaninos says:

                    Dear Milton,
                    I’m just a fan of his. That’s all. I thought he was the most interesting writer on Monomakhos. He was funny and irreverent. Sorry to disappoint. I see Millman is back on facebook. It looks like he really does have 5,000 fb friends. I’m one of them.

                  • George Michalopulos is Meter Pillman

                    • Millton Peterman says:

                      Mr. Billy Never On A Sunday, I thought George was Millstone? Maybe our old friend with 5000 Facebook friends can find a handsome Greekboy not living in mamas and yiayias basement, for Gail’s daughter.

                      Don’t care what the monks say, laughter is the best medicine! The only think the Greeks will see rise again is their Easter bread dough!

                    • Joseph Lipper says:

                      I could use a couple of extra strength pain relievers right about now.

                    • In case anyone/everyone missed it

                      As a pharmacist, George Michalopulos measures out prescription medicines

                      Therefore, he is Meter Pillman

                      [Rimshot]

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Bjs, seriously, you need to start a satirical blog. A cross between Mark Twain & Diogenes.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                  They invented the kimono, too.

                • Constaninos

                  “Hellas will rise again.”

                  Could you tell me what this means to you and describe it in detail, please?

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                    It already did, in 1919-22.

                    I don’t think it will have any more chances, at least for a century or two.

                  • Martyr's Guilt says:

                    Greeks will rise again? Constaninos, YES!! Greeks will rise again!! Early in the morning to open up their coffee shops around the world. Or, early in the morning, in Greece, to the ATMs for their daily maximum money withdraws, allowed by their Government. Or really early to enjoy some lamb stew, right after Pascha. And soon enough in a couple weeks they will watch their Vasilopita rise, right before they put them into the ovens. Other than that, Hellas if I know. Pun intentional!

                    Now is Constaninos the offspring of Constantinos? Constaninos?

                • Lets not forget that Jesus was a Jew. Greece has a long, long way to go.

                  • There was a non-insignificant population of Greek Jews in Greece up until World War II, especially in northern Greece (Thessaloniki, Ioannina). The Nazis almost wiped them out with the deportations and genocide during the Second World War.

                    One of the only (the only?) Greek Jewish synagogue is in New York City (from the Greek Jewish Romaniote tradition) — the Kehila Kedosha Janina. I believe that “Janina” is a corruption of Ioannina. Here is its Wikipedia entry.

                    And we should remember the Holy Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens — the only Church leader in all of Nazi occupied Europe who publicly stood up to the Nazis. Similar to what his contemporaries St. Maria Skobtsova and St. (Fr.) Dimitri Klepinin in Paris did during WW2, Archbishop Damaskinos ordered that baptismal certificates be given to Jews fleeing the Nazis, thereby saving thousands of Romaniote/Greek Jews from death.

                    Famously, when the local Schutzstaffel commander threatened to execute him by firing squad. the Archbishop replied “According to the traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church, our prelates are hanged, not shot. Please respect our traditions!”

                    I’ve often wondered if the Church of Greece has ever considered canonizing this Christ-like Archbishop.

                    A blessed St Nicholas Day to all who are celebrating today!

                    • Martyr's Guilt says:

                      Let’s not forget Bishop Chrysostomos of Zakynthos, and the mayor of Zakynthos, Loukas Karrer, who also would not turn in a list of Greek Jews, and later helped many flee on boats. Say what you want of Greeks today, but they stood tall during WW2. They should be canonized for their bravery, and for saving many Jews, in the face of Nazis. They were willing to lay down their lives for another.

                • Michael Bauman says:

                  As any Lebanese Sitti will tell you, the Greeks do not know how to cook.

                  Merry Christmas!

          • Michael Bauman says:

            Constaninos, you are funny.

          • …and by the way, Constaninos (and others), Welcome! I’m enjoying the recent surge in comments from Orthodox Christians of the GOA. Your troubles are in our prayers. Many of us have been where you are.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says:

          I’ve been in the Greek church over 3 years now, after 66 years of Presbyterianism, and none of them have borne me gifts yet. So I’m cool.

  7. Greatly Saddened says:

    Below please find an article from today on the Byzantine, Texas website.

    Weird times for the Greek Church in Toronto

    http://byztex.blogspot.com/2017/12/weird-times-for-greek-church-in-toronto.html?m=1

  8. Greatly Saddened says:

    Below please find an article from Thursday’s, The Pappas Post.

    Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Canada Rocked with Shocking Allegations in Lawsuit by Greek Community

    written by Gregory Pappas
    December 14, 2017

    http://www.pappaspost.com/greek-orthodox-metropolitan-canada-rocked-shocking-allegations-lawsuit-greek-community/

  9. Greatly Saddened says:

    Below please find an article from today’s The National Herald.

    Metropolis of Toronto Responds to Allegations Made by the Greek Community of Toronto

    https://www.thenationalherald.com/184999/metropolis-toronto-responds-allegations-made-greek-community-toronto/

  10. Photius Underwood says:

    It is important to remember that the one thing that Greek Orthodox leaders in Canada and America will never do is put themselves on the witness stand or allow themselves to answer questions under oath. Despite the many press releases and denials…. its not going to happen. This means that those who filed the lawsuit already have a huge upper hand in this process. The faithful in the united states should also be mindful of this as well as parishes consider legal action. The mere possibility of hierarchs being deposed or cross-examined under oath is a powerful tool in bringing about much need reform and accountability in the Church. They will settle every case before any hierarch or member of the administration faces the possibility of being deposed under oath. The laity need to see more than ever what powerful tools they have in bringing about change.

    • Photius,

      Doubtless there is some truth to what you write here, but using civil courts as a tool to bring about the reforms needed is a temptation to be avoided. Saint Paul’s words to (ironically) one of the original Greek Churches ought not to be ignored for the sake of what appears to be the immediate utility of taking the legal path.

      “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!”

      And even apart from the obvious failure of which Paul speaks, consider the possible unintended consequences. Do we really want the government involved in regulating our churches? And when these cases are settled for their fear of being cross examined under oath, who really pays?

      • George Michalopulos says:

        True. But that’s based on the assumption that there are honest and transparent adjudicatory organs within the Church. Nonesuch exists in the the phanariote-controlled churches.

        • Martyr’s Guilt says:

          “True but….” says George, Bring out the lawyers and judges, eh George? Thought you left behind your typical Greek Orthodox Parish Council President ways? The old Greek Adarte licking their chops, as the devil throws more priests and bishops on the rotisserie spit for consumption of the oh so holy laity. Eat up boys, filler up. The brain turns off with such well filled bellies, as does the Holy Spirit within us.

          • George Michalopulos says:

            MG, your point is well-taken. While I don’t know the ins and outs of whats going on in Canada, I made a general statement on the least-worst alternative to clearing out the mess that is the GOA and GOC given the overall stench of corruption that exists.

            I admit that there is a better way: for all the jurisdictions to evince a spirit of contrition and repentance and consolidate into a territorial American Orthodox Church. And for the (GOA bishops especially) to become real monks, not prance around hither and yon at ecumenical conferences in foreign locales, drawing six-figure salaries.

            Repentance is the key. Otherwise, the GOA might very well be laid waste by the heathen just as ancient Israel was.

            • Martyr's Guilt says:

              George, At some point, I hope you will realize that some things will never really change all that much in Orthodoxy, find peace in your heart. The anger and pain, cannot be healthy, spiritually, my brother. Let it go, the sin of our Fathers is theirs, yet we it take into our hearts, and their sins become our own as well. Pray for our fathers, ask ourselves to repent and forgive, each other, is the only answer George.

              Hundreds of years under Ottoman rule, Russian kings and queens, The Roman Empire, Roman Catholic Churches influence and interference, modern western, and eastern influence, etc. Orthodoxy has been corrupt nearly all of it’s existence. The Church, and our High Priest Jesus Christ, is not corrupt, but the humanity that runs it, ever since our Lord left us, has always been to different degrees. We simply need to do our best as faithful stewards within our church, let the clergy do theirs. At some point The church will self correct. I trust enough in our Lord in that respect. We both know all the turmoil, corruption, occupation, extortion, and violence our Church has gone through for the last two thousand years. The corruption we see today is not much different than yesterday, there is just most exposure now, than then.

              Don’t trust me, but trust in The Holy Trinity, all will work out. A few bad apples in The GOA will not destroy our Church. We have been through worse . But, if you want to see things really go dark for a long period of time, unleash laity into rebellion, and anarchy, against our leaders. Next we will witness each parish, make it’s own rules and traditions, and soon enough, we will be no different than any other Protestant Church. We will be able to pick and choose our favorite flavors of Orthodoxy. In many ways we are, sadly, already witnessing that within all the different Orthodox jurisdictions here in America. Promote a GOA revolution and you will not like what we are left with.

              • George Michalopulos says:

                Wise words, MG. Thank you for your concern. BTW, my heart is at peace. As you may or may not know, I haven’t been in the GOA for over a decade now and that has helped a lot. Still, I appreciate your kind words, they are very apropos for all of us. God is indeed on His throne and I believe He uses the sinfulness of men to effect His will.

                • Martyr's Guilt says:

                  George you quitter!! Your absence from your old parish, I am sure is missed! And yes, I’m kidding! The thought has crossed my mind as well, and more than just that a different jurisdiction. Not kidding!

                  The selfish greed by some in clergy, and hopelessness of the GOA is overwhelming, dispiriting and confusing at times. Now no jurisdiction is without these type of issues. The GOA just has more to handle. These scandals will repel many, lawsuits will triple the exodus. Look at The Roman Catholic Church. Can one not think child abuse, here in America and not think of Catholic Priests? This is how the evil one operates, from the top on down.

                  I have made vows to God, right or wrong, for my children’s wellbeing, that I would raise them as Orthodox Christians. If not for them, I would probably not go to church at all. So as we said in the 70’s, Keep on Trucking!

                  • George Michalopulos says:

                    Someday I’ll write the full story, (my) warts and all!

                    Long story short: T-Town needed an English speaking mission and my Jedi master (a Greek American like myself) told me to fire up the old jalopy, make.my way to Texas and supplicate archbishop Dmitri. I was told he could start a mission with teo old ladies and a phone booth.

                    Btw, I’m still.active in my former parish to an extent.

                  • Gail Sheppard says:

                    Martyr’s Guilt, just FYI, I don’t have an ounce of Greek in me (you asked but I could not reply) but that doesn’t keep me from hoping that one day my beautiful 25-year-old daughter marries a Greek because then she’ll be Orthodox! Some things are more important than others.

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      To all: if you know a godly, handsome young Orthodox fellow he would not be disappointed in Gail’s daughter. Not at all. No siree.

                    • Martyr's Guilt says:

                      Too bad my boy is only 18, too young for your girl. Maybe if there still single in 10 years.

        • “Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? ”

          Apparently, the answer in this case is, “Yes. It is so.” And that being the case the route the Cleveland cathedral parish is taking seems most appropriate. I have never had any sympathy for congregationalism; but as the laity is not the Church apart from the episcopate, neither is the episcopate the Church apart from the laity.

          • George Michalopulos says:

            Agreed. That being said, the caterwampus ecclesiology that is the GOA has it bass-ackwards. The local parish needs to be supported 100% from the people of that parish (and they invariably are). That’s a good thing. Where it gets caterwampus is when the local parish kicks back 15% of its yearly wealth to national HQ on 79th Street, which then gives back some token amount to the diocese.

            That’s insane. If anything, the local parish needs to send 10% (or more) to the diocese. The so-called “General Archdiocesan District” (i.e. New York/New Jersey) is nothing but a glorified diocese in and of itself and should make do on the proceeds from the parishes located within its boundaries.

            Now of course, some will say that the GOA has “national ministries”. That’s debatable. Especially at this point.

            • Greatly Saddened says:

              GM … I’ve been meaning to respond to your above post. The Direct Archdiocesan District encompasses parts of Connecticut and New York. Including the populous areas of the 5 boroughs of NYC, and Long Island. Along with Saint Sophia Cathedral in Washington, D.C., Saints Constantine and Helen in Silver Spring, MD., which relocated from Washington, D.C. and in do so, requested to remain as part of the DAD, and Annunciation in the Bahamas.

              From my understanding, it is the same as the Metropolises. The only difference is its Hierarch is His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, rather than a Metropolitan. As you well know, during the Divine Liturgy, the priest commemorates their own Metropolitan/Archbishop.

      • Photius Underwood says:

        Brian,
        I understand what you are saying but the reality is there is simply no structure of ecclesiastical discipline that will correct the out of control behavior and genuine corruption we see in both Canada and the USA today. In the current regime nobody will be held accountable. The current Greek Orthodox Church thrives off of power, control, and money. Money is fuel that allows this fire to burn doing great harm to the body of Christ. Take away the money and many of the Greek Orthodox parasites we see today will disappear. If they do not then average clergy and faithful will continue to suffer. Therefore, I believe Orthodox Christians of good will should come together and use the legal system to bring the administrative machinery of the Church to a halt until such time as every stone is turned over and every person who has betrayed the trust of the faithful is held accountable in the eyes of the Orthodox Faith. Sunlight is a marvelous disinfectant and nothing would disinfect todays Church leadership more than to cripple the machinery of corruption through the use of the legal system. It is the only thing the current leadership fears.

        • George Michalopulos says:

          Unfortunately, you are correct.

        • Photius,

          I understand. Truly I do. I have been through seemingly insoluble ecclesial corruption wherein the powers that be seem completely unaccountable.

          I would only say beware. These situations are fraught with peril – full if lies, both real and perceived, as well as a myriad of temptations and snares set for the faithful by the enemies (and the Enemy) of the Church. I would also say be patient. As strange as it may seem, God is at work in these trials, and is working His will for the good of His Church.

          There is accountability, even for bishops, because the Church belongs to Christ, and He will not be mocked for long. Just be very careful not to overstep the degree of authority He grants to the laity or succumb to bitterness. I am not suggesting inaction. I am only advising caution.

          That is why the approach of Cleveland cathedral parish strikes the right cord in my opinion. It is at once patient, firm, and full of mercy and truth without resorting to the civil courts or presuming to usurp the authority of the episcopate. It also addresses the financial corruption at its root, which is the free flow of easy cash, by holding the bishops accountable for their own promise to account for the mess. By the time April arrives the episcopate will be faced with three choices: Keep their word to the Faithful, break their word to the faithful and accept the cut-off of funding from the Cleveland parish, or break their word and further compound their foolishness (and public scandal) by threatening to excommunicate them.

          God only knows, and time will tell. I have seen bishops do unbelievably arrogant things. But I have also seen God use the arrogance of those who seem to be in power to accomplish His greater purposes – as He did in the case of Pharaoh. But as with the Israelites, we often fail to trust that He knows what He is doing. I know this because I, too, have failed to trust His hand in these situations.

          • George Michalopulos says:

            Brian, this is sage advice. I too, would be chary of “appealing to Caesar” to resolve inter-ecclesial disputes (in this case civil court) unless there is no other option and the corruption is too great. The withholding (with a time limit) of funds as you describe is better.

            I agree with you that the arrogance of some (including bishops) and corruption can be used by the Lord to effect His will. We may be seeing that at present.

        • Fr. George Washburn says:

          Mr. Underwood’ comments seem based in a genuine love for the Lord and the Church, and nothing I say below should be construed as doubting or devaluing that.

          However, as a veteran of decades making my living in the CA courts, I have a somewhat different view. Among veteran attorneys there is almost universal dread of clients who want to use litigation to correct abuses or teach friends, relatives, business associates or chunch brethren lessons. As one wag would have it, “It is like teaching a pig to sing. He’s not going to learn, and you will get very frustrated trying.”

          In my idealistic, evangelical youth we spent many hours in dormitory bull sessions arguing over what system of church government was truly “biblical” and right. In our idealism, not to say naïveté, we also tended to assume, without saying as much, that the truly right system would be fool proof.

          Experience seems to teach that whatever system one chooses, the bad comes with the good, and the upsides of each are sometimes (often?) offset by the downsides: presbyterial pretension, congregational chaos, or hierarchical hubris. I don’t know when, or even if, civil litigation is necessary in the abstract to correct abuses, but in old age I do know that the hidden downsides of secular court engagement are real and large.

          As Jesus himself put it in that little Parable of the wheat and tares, if you rush into the field to pull out all those darn weeds, a lot of wheat is going to be spoiled too.

          Love,

          Fr. George

          • Michael Bauman says:

            Fr. …and there is the problem. We will not eliminate sin, even in our own hearts, by the application of law and justice. Pity that only mercy and the Cross do the trick.

            Unfortunately, it seems that a great deal will have to die in the approach our to being the Church here in the New World. We are so dag nab full of ourselves.

            May God forgive us rather than spewing us from His mouth.

  11. George Michalopulos says:

    For the record, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Canada has issued this response:

    http://byztex.blogspot.com/2017/12/greek-metropolis-of-toronto-responds-to.html

    [Courtesy: Byzantine, Texas]

  12. Meras Kalofrilas says:

    It’s even worse in Australia as they are eager to prove Greeks have “Australian Values” and are joining https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniting_Church_in_Australia wholescale

  13. Fr. Philip (Speranza) says:

    While the link to the Byztex blog was given above, it would appear that not many have actually read the piece. Please note the following quote from the article.

    “In the statement of claim, filed on Oct. 18, the GCT also alleges that thousands of dollars in money raised through a 2012 fundraiser for a baby with a serious heart condition may not have reached the child’s family. Donations totalled well over $50,000, the GCT alleges.

    Fundraising efforts for “Baby Alexander” made headlines that year; the eight-month-old needed urgent transportation from Greece to Toronto for heart surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children.

    The GCT alleges the metropolis announced that $10,000 was being sent to the charity Global Angel on behalf of the child’s family, without disclosing the “actual total amount of the collected donations.”

    “In fact, Global Angel only received the paltry sum of $1,450,” continues the statement of claim, which alleges the metropolis “unlawfully and fraudulently” used the remaining portion of the donations for their personal benefit or the benefit of other charities.

    But Gail Courneyea, founder of Global Angel, told CBC Toronto the charity’s records show it did indeed receive $10,000 from the Metropolis.

    “I really don’t know where the numbers are coming from … We were surprised that was mentioned, that we didn’t get it,” she said.”

    • Gail Sheppard says:

      Perhaps those within the laity who are leading the charge are not being entirely truthful. There is another side to this story and the possibilities are equally disturbing.

  14. Greatly Saddened says:

    Below please find a personal message from His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto, in today’s The National Herald. It is in its entirety at the time of my posting.

    Personal Message from the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Toronto

    https://www.thenationalherald.com/185581/personal-message-greek-orthodox-metropolitan-toronto/

  15. Fr. George Washburn says:

    Gail’s observation about truth telling is worth more than a second thought.

    Litigation in North America is a complex, socially-approved game that operates by certain rules, some written, some not, that should be at least somewhat understood before trying to draw conclusions from what is written in lawsuit papers, themselves, let alone what potentially tendentious social media ‘reporters’ on the filings may say about them.

    Without getting too wordy, one of the unwritten rules is based on the statistical fact that only a small minority of cases ever goes to trial. Most are settled, and a percentage are knocked out of court for various reasons short of settlement or judgment. So the shrewd plaintiff’s lawyer very often maximizes the settlement value of his case from the get go by pumping as much air into the actual facts of the case as he thinks the circumstances permit.

    When the defendant is someone with an important position in the public eye, whether in business, politics, entertainment, or yes, religion, the vulnerability of the defendant to loss of public support is a huge factor in how the legal game is played. In our age of instantaneous electronic communication and emotive reaction, the potential for quickly creating deeply unfavorable and ultimately unfair impressions of people is enormous, and the likelihood of unringing the bell, should it be rung more or less unfairly, small after the damage is done.

    Scripture says “he who pleads his cause first sounds right, but then his adversary comes forward and searches out the weaknesses in the claim.” Zealous bloggery can get up such a head of steam so quickly that even the most well prepared and savvy defendant has a poor chance of preventing, let alone countering, unfair impressions. And by the time he gets geared up to do so the mass has often moved on to the next flap, false impressions intact.

    We will see in this one. For now I will be surprised if the claims prove fully true or false.

    Love,

    Fr. George